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Monday, May 26, 2014

The Longest Losing Streak In 20 Years For the Red Sox Deserves a Mention

Believe me, there have been so many times in the last few weeks that I have wanted to write a Red Sox post but by the time their game ends (in a depressing loss), I am so disgusted that I don't bother. Well after losing 8-5 to the Rays this afternoon at Tropicana Field, I feel like I need to acknowledge Boston's (20-29 overall, 10-12 away) worst losing streak (10 games) in 20 years.

Tampa Bay (23-28 overall, 12-14 home) started the weekend series in last place in the pathetic AL East but after sweeping the Red Sox, they are now two games ahead of them. If that wasn't all bad enough, Boston became a disgrace (and I don't throw that word around lightly) in today's series finale by taking exception to stupid Yunel Escobar and starting one of those lame "baseball brawls."

Jonny Gomes was the main culprit for Boston as he came over and tried to get at Escobar who had been yelling and pointing in Boston's dugout after stealing third up 8-3 in the seventh (who cares?). Gomes could be suspended which wouldn't help the Red Sox who also put Mike Napoli on the DL earlier in the day with his finger injury (which surprise surprise hasn't magically worked itself out). There are many things in life I have no use for and baseball's unwritten rules along with fake tough guys (Gomes, Escobar, A.J. Pierzynski) are enough to make me cringe.

During the losing streak, Boston has been swept by Detroit, Toronto and Tampa Bay. This series was particularly painful since as I mentioned, the Rays are equally terrible plus Boston lost on a walk-off hit on Friday (1-0), on an error in the 15th inning on Saturday then capped off by this monstrosity. It's reached the point, much like 2012, where I tune in solely to see what new way they'll find to lose a game.

Brandon Workman made his first start of the season, taking Felix Doubront's place. He went five innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks. The issue, as it's been for much of this slide, has been Boston's awful offense. The immortal Jake Odorizzi went six innings and held them to one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

Brock Holt gave Boston a short-lived 1-0 lead in the third with a sacrifice fly. Tampa Bay scored twice in the fourth on Evan Longoria's (3 for 5, 2 runs) solo homer and an RBI single by Logan Forsythe. Two runs came across in the fifth for the Rays on ground outs.

Before he had to be a hero, Gomes actually did something useful on the field with a two-run homer in the seventh (his 5th of the season) that tied it at three. The wheels came off for the Red Sox in the seventh as light-hitting Sean Rodriguez crushed a three-run homer and Escobar added a two-run double. Xander Bogaerts (2 for 4, double) had a two-run single in the ninth but that meant absolutely nothing.

All we keep hearing is that it's still early and the Red Sox are better than this. Fair enough but no team has lost 10 games in a row then won the World Series that same season. I don't know what it would be specifically but if things don't improve drastically, like in the next few days, it's up to GM Ben Cherington to make a big trade to shake things up. Otherwise, this team is going nowhere and it promises to be a miserable summer.

It is a funky schedule this week as they play two in Atlanta (28-21 overall, 1st in NL East) starting tomorrow afternoon (1:10, NESN) then host the Braves for two games at Fenway Park followed by three games next weekend at home vs. Tampa Bay. Another win before May ends would be nice. Clay Buchholz (2-4) faces Ervin Santana (4-2) tomorrow at Turner Field followed by Jon Lester (4-6) vs. Aaron Harang (4-4) on Tuesday (7:10, NESN).

UPDATE 5/26: The Red Sox sent Alex Wilson back to Pawtucket and called up catcher/1st baseman Ryan Lavarnway (with Napoli out).

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